49-year-old Kathleen P. Blakely-Polk was charged in an eight-count indictment unsealed this week and announced Friday.
She worked at the booking desk in the Law Enforcement Center during the time of the alleged violations.
The federal indictment charges her with five counts of illegally using EBT cards and three counts of distributing hydrocodone. The indictment alleges that Blakely-Polk used federal benefits in an unauthorized manner, specifically, SNAP benefits, which is formally known as the Food Stamp Program.
St Joseph Police insist that crimes contained in a federal indictment happened during a civilian booking officer’s off hours, and did not occur at the Law Enforcement Center. Captain Matt Rock says she is currently on unpaid leave pending a termination hearing.
In 1998, the USDA (through the Missouri Division of Social Services) converted from a traditional paper food stamp coupon system to the EBT card system. Instead of being issued food stamp coupons, SNAP recipients were issued EBT cards that could be used at participating retailers.
EBT cards are linked to a recipient’s benefit account, and credited with the recipient’s allocated benefits on a monthly basis.